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7 Ways To Turn Your Thoughts Into Reality

7 Ways To Turn Your Thoughts Into Reality

Your mind is where your reality begins. Most of us don’t know how to think productively however – how to turn our thoughts and dreams into something concrete.The obstacles are many – procrastination, lack of motivation, fear of failure. It’s important to not forget, however, that our thoughts ultimately blueprint our destinies. I’ll take a look at complementing a thought with tricks to make your thoughts turn into a reality. So without further ado…

1. Connect it with the bigger picture

If anything sounds like it’s not worth it, remember this: someone will read your eulogy one day. Let’s suppose they held the entire list of all your thoughts. The thoughts that produced great change. The thoughts that snowballed from little habits into bigger effects. Even the thoughts that didn’t account to much. Will they be able to tell the underlying patterns? What causes will prove that your life was dedicated to something bigger than yourself? All of your thoughts are categorized in one mysteriously interconnected network, so let loose and don’t be afraid to associate a thought with your own grand visions for the future, the world, life, and even the universe itself. This will cement a more imaginative plan into something more concrete. You may also feel more motivated to start doing, knowing that your thinking isn’t isolated and random, but a good representation of everything you want to be!

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2. Practice productive procrastination

Side projects are important. They’re the stuff you throw yourself in when no one is watching, and the pastime you would rather dabble in than do work. Despite this, procrastination is still the epitome of lacking productivity, right? Enter a more refined type of procrastination: productive procrastination. Find a few little projects you’re ready to get started in. Work on the one which feels more appealing, then bump to another when you’re sick of that one, and then jump back to the other one in a virtuous cycle. Productive procrastination can drastically increase your productivity, and you’ll feel like you’re actually accomplishing more.

3. Find the right group of people first

When surrounded with the right group of people, we’re much more likely to give reality to our thoughts. The right group of people are those who support your thoughts, challenge your assumptions, help you out when you’re stuck, and obviously steal your own ideas. Now it’s easier than ever to find them. The internet is packed with countless communities dedicated to countless interests, and that’s just one part. Meet-ups and clubs situated in a hands-on environment are available where you live, and if you can’t find one you’re interested in, why not start one? Upon surrounding yourself with positive influences, your thoughts will come alive and grow stronger than in isolation.

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4. Categorize thoughts based on their value

There’s an unbelievable amount of stimuli rotating in your brain. That stimuli branches into the unconscious, and you’re supposedly left with little conscious ability to direct its power or flow. It’s obvious that we’re caught in ingrained patterns and impulses, and lost in the grind of unconscious thinking. After all, our brains often run on autopilot; we’re not hyper-aware of everything, nor will we ever be. Bring these scattered thoughts into the light with a spreadsheet and one week. Track a thought and a SMART goal to achieve it. You’ll soon notice an inquisitive pattern – and find out which thoughts to implement and the ones to throw out.

5. Use the SMART goal system

Good goal-making is a mark of the good life. Those who plan well live well. So why do people build their thoughts on less than adequate goals every day? Maybe it’s because not enough of them try the SMART goal system. This method incorporates specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-worthy steps into doing just about anything. You might want to lose weight. The typical response is to write it down and get excited about it. But how much weight needs to be lost before you can accomplish it? What can you use to track it? Is it attainable in circumstances like health and money? What date must be set to justify accomplishing it, and is it even realistic in that time-frame? Now you got a workout more intense than a marathon!

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6. Remix productivity techniques

Hacking life is a modern technique. With so many productivity techniques to choose from in the 21st century, who wouldn’t feel overwhelmed? The first step is to learn more about productivity in general. Devour anything you can find – books, articles, blogs, clippings of magazines. Take a course and attempt a technique. Then try another. One of my favorite examples is to start a 25-minute timer in a Pomodoro fashion while working on productive procrastination. The possibilities are nearly limitless learning.

7. Track your life

Let’s finish with a habit-tracking app. Habit tracking apps are exactly what they sound like – they track your progress of keeping up with a habit over time. Choose a tiny habit that is very easy to change, and you’re much more likely to continue with it. Watch it expand over time. Observe the data. Then gradually increase it until you’re doing something you’ve always wanted to do every day. Don’t be afraid to experiment; you can also track elements like your mood, nutrition, sleep, exercise, goals, and to-do lists.

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How do you turn your thoughts into reality?

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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